Global Educators Cohort Program - Teacher Education

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An investigation of two-way text messaging use with deaf students at the secondary level.

  • Dr. C. Tane Akamatsu/Toronto District School Board was available from 06/30/08 until 07/20/08 to answer questions and share ideas concerning her research and its implications for parents of children who are deaf/hard of hearing, their teachers and other professionals who work with them.
  • You are encouraged to read the research summary below and review the attached discussion.

Abstract: Deaf and hard-of-hearing students are often delayed in developing their independent living skills because of parental restrictions on activities outside the home due to worries about their child’s inability to communicate, their whereabouts, and their general safety. Recent accounts of the use of two-way text messagers suggests that, like electronic mail, distance communication problems that have long plagued deaf people may be ameliorated by the use of such technology. This project was designed as an initial foray into investigating the use of two-way text messaging technology as a way of increasing the independence of deaf adolescents and reducing their parents’ anxiety about their safety and responsibility. All the deaf and hard-of-hearing students at two urban high schools (ages 13-19), the staff of the deaf departments at these schools, and the parents/guardians of the students participated in this study. The data collected on this project confirm that two-way text messaging technology is indeed useful for deaf adolescents and helps alleviate some of the concerns that have kept them from developing independence as quickly or readily as their hearing peers. Potential policy implications for this research are discussed.

Akamatsu, C. T., Mayer, C., & Farrelly, S. (2006). An investigation of two-way text messaging use with deaf students at the secondary level. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 11(1), 120-131.